Every now and then, life serves up a little unexpected surprise. Being avid music lovers, it’s a tradition for our family to enjoy the Grammy Awards together each February. The entertainment is always top shelf, and the stage production is typically amazing. While I’ve had a bit of experience in stage design, I really never expected to see one of my digital images while watching the Grammys in 2005.

Back when digital photography was still in its infancy, I was taking pictures nearly every day and uploading them to numerous stock photo sites. While most of these sites required payment per image, a very well known Hungarian one was, and still remains, a free stock photo repository. As one of its earliest contributors, I learned a lot from being a part of that international community of photographers, and uploaded hundreds photos over the years, many of which ended up being used in books, brochures, magazines and web publications. None of us made any money there, but the experience was golden and helped establish some of us as respected stock photographers, while building portfolios of work.

This was one of those photos, snapped in a hurry with a very early 3mp compact camera and edited in Photoshop (probably ver 4?):

Microphone Image by Lynn Cummings

And here it is in use during the 47th Annual Grammy Awards staging:

2007 Grammy Awards
I’ve always believed that expensive tools don’t make the artist, and you don’t need a high-end camera to take great photos. This experience makes that point in a big way, and certainly encouraged me to continue taking pictures. Although I didn’t make a dime from it and the Grammy producers didn’t even let me know they were using the image, it was still quite a thrill and makes a fun story to tell the grandchildren.

I hope it serves to inspire you in some way today.

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